by Cliff Rold
Break out the billfolds. It’s that time again.
This week is all about a big pay-per-view show. While it won’t be in the stratosphere of Mayweather-Alvarez, the week’s main event has trended strongly on social media this week and has generated deep excitement among hardcore fight fans.
It’s not the only show on tap. Telemundo goes with an offering late Friday night (11:35 PM EST/PST) with a clash of Bantamweights Marvin Maibat and Johnny Garcia. They miss the cut in a week that spans the globe, all on the same TV dial.
These are the picks of the week.
Pick HBO: Timothy Bradley vs. Juan Manuel Marquez (Saturday, HBO, 9 PM EST/6 PM PST)
The big date of the week is this Welterweight clash. Marquez (55-6-1, 40 KO) returns from a career-defining knockout of Manny Pacquiao attempting to become the first Mexican beltholder in five weight divisions. Bradley (30-0, 12 KO), the WBO titlist, was far from conclusive against Pacquiao in 2012 and enters off a brutal first outing in 2013. His war with Ruslan Provodnikov is still a leader in the Fight of the Year race and he’s made no secret that the fight had lingering affects. Will they continue to linger on Saturday against a Marquez who has always been an accurate, brutal scientist? The age and speed gaps favor Bradley but Marquez has beaten both before. The undercard is interesting. At Featherweight, former titlist Orlando Salido faces Orlando Cruz while Olympic great Vasyl Lomachenko makes an anticipated professional debut. This might not be the best pay-per-view card ever, but it’s worth the money just to know it has to be better than Wladimir Klitschko-Alexander Povetkin last week.
Anything would be better than that.
Pick Fly: Juan Carlos Reveco vs. Ricardo Nunez (Saturday, TyC, 10 PM EST)
On the Argentine network many can find on their cable dial, one of the more unsung Flyweight titlists makes his latest start and an attempted third title defense. Reveco (31-1, 17 KO) hasn’t lost since a close defeat to Brahim Asloum for a 108 lb. title in 2007. He defends the WBA 112 lb. belt against a Nunez (26-3, 22 KO) with potential for danger. Nunez has won two straight by knockout. All his losses: also by knockout. The last of them is where the intrigue lies here. Nunez had excellent IBF Flyweight titlist Moruti Mthalane on the deck before succumbing in a fun fight last year. He can obviously crack. There is a serious chance for fireworks here and will likely be worth a DVR look after the pay-per-view (if the main events conflict at all).
Pick Uni: Jesse Vargas vs. Ray Narh (Friday, UniMas, 12:30 AM EST/11:30 PM PST)
Vargas (22-0, 9 KO) is creeping towards contention at Welterweight but the jury is still out on how high his ceiling will really stretch. Narh (26-3, 21 KO) comes in having been stopped in two of his last three fights. Vargas isn’t a big puncher so, if he’s going to score a stoppage, this might be the night.
For BoxingScene’s latest full divisional ratings, log on to: https://www.boxingscene.com/forums/view.php?pg=boxing-ratings
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]